Its been no secret that the U.S. 27 North viaduct would be replaced. And, it was no secret that the replacement was imminent.
However, what Cynthiana leaders and residents didnt expect was an emergency weight reduction that would create a detour for heavy trucks.
Tom Shomaker, chief engineer with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinets District 6 operation, said Monday that a recent inspection showed that the bridge had deteriorated more since its last inspection.
All bridges in the state were inspected following the August 2007 collapse of a bridge in Minneapolis.
Shomaker said the viaduct was already on the substandard list, which meant it was being watched closely.
He said he is confident with the reduced weight limit from 15 tons to 10 tons, the bridge will can handle the traffic.
However, he said a loaded dump truck would exceed the weight limit.
Cynthiana Mayor Jim Brown announced at last weeks city commission meeting that the state may be detouring heavy trucks, including tractor trailers, to Church Street.
Shomaker confirmed that the state is in discussions with the city regarding the use of Church Street.
If that route is selected, parking on the street will be prohibited.
Shomaker said other alternative routes would send truckers through Sunrise or even to Berry and Kelat.
Were hoping to be able to utilize Church Street, Shomaker said.
He said he anticipated detour and new weight limit signs being placed at the bridge this week.
Right-of-way acquisitions are being finalized for the October construction letting, Shomaker said.
He said that ideally, construction would begin immediately after those bids are awarded.
He said construction could be completed in as little as one construction season.
It looks like October 2009 would be the best we could offer, Shomaker said of the bridge completion. He said much would depend on whether the bid letting date was successful.
Were going to try very hard to hold to that date, Shomaker said.